There are many things on my bucket list including meeting presidents of different countries. Two years ago I had the chance to meet my first president, the then President Laura Chinchilla, first female president of Costa Rica. We had a short chat about the World Cup. Today was another of those ‘did that just happen’ moments, seeing and photographing up close another ‘first’ president (the first African American president of the United States) who of course needs no introduction, President Barack Obama.
The stadium was packed with Georgia Tech students, staff and affiliates, waiting to hear his speech on College Affordability and Accessibility for all. Georgia Tech was of course an aptly chosen school at which to deliver such a message (as President Obama himself noted). It recently ranked in the Top 10 US schools with the best return on investment (ROI) surpassing many of the Ivies ;-). And my ‘own’ department (where I spent my PhD life though in person) was the first to launch an Online Masters of Science degree in Computer Science (OMSCS) at a fraction of the cost for the traditional program, an inspiring model that could revolutionize online education. Below are my photos of POTUS (timestamps are a ‘guesstimate’).
The wait was long. Lines started to form from 5:30am for a speech expected to start at 1:30pm (turned out to be 2pm).
The scene at McCamish Pavilion at 8am.
10:30 am: I got a prime spot on the ground floor.
12:45 pm: President Obama landed in Atlanta.
1:45pm: President Obama entered the McCamish Pavilion at Georgia Tech to many screams…including my own (turn down your speakers) :).
1:48pm: I had a proud Yellow Jacket moment.
1:50pm: President Obama delivered a 20 minute speech on college affordability for all.
“We want to make this [college] experience more affordable because you’re not just investing in yourself, you’re investing in the nation.” – Pres. Obama
2:10pm: Many got the chance to shake his hands. I got some prime photos.
2:30pm: His motorcade departed. Well worth the 7hr wait to hear his speech.
Next on my bucket list is to (someday) meet First Lady Michelle Obama, one of the women who ‘inspyahs’ me. Which Presidents (or Prime Ministers) ‘inspyah’ you? Who would you want to meet and/or photograph if you got the chance to?